Blowtorch burglar strikes again

WOODLAND — Criminal charges continue to mount against a Woodland man accused of burglarizing Holy Rosary Church more than two years ago.

On Tuesday, Woodland police arrested 62-year-old Jose Luis Rangel in connection with an October 2008 ATM burglary, as well as a commercial burglary that has already been linked to his wife, Sgt. Dan Letamendi said.

Eleanor Irene Rangel, 57, was arrested last Thursday on suspicion of burglarizing the unidentified business and attempting to dissuade the owner from cooperating with police.
Letamendi said detectives arrested Luis Rangel after learning he was in possession of property from the March commercial burglary. When police arrived at his 54 Maryland Ave. home Tuesday afternoon, Rangel allegedly fled through his backyard but was apprehended as he attempted to scale a six-foot fence.

At the time, Rangel was free on bail in the Holy Rosary burglary case, in which the suspect entered the Walnut Avenue church through a second-story window and used a blowtorch to force open a safe containing between $15,000 and $20,000 in cash and checks that had been collected during recent services.

According to Letamendi, a blowtorch also was used in the 2008 ATM burglary at the Bank of America, though no cash was obtained.

Although detectives identified Rangel as a “person of interest” in the church burglary less than two months after the crime, they did not have enough evidence to pursue charges against him.
That changed earlier this year, after Rangel was arrested in Roseville for using a blowtorch to cut into a bank ATM machine. He was charged with the church burglary in August while on probation for the Roseville crime.

On Tuesday, Rangel returned to the Yolo County Jail on fresh charges of burglary, possession of stolen property, using an acetylene torch during a burglary and resisting arrest. His bail was set at $500,000.

Eleanor Rangel was arraigned Monday and is due back in court later this month for a preliminary hearing, according to Yolo Superior Court records.

Blowtorch burglar strikes again was last modified: July 2nd, 2012 by admin
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